How to Camp Paleo

How to Camp Paleo

I saw a facebook video the other day talking about Japanese Forest Bathing and how it had been shown to improve health and well being, even without any form of exercise.

The personal experience of myself and many friends and relatives can confirm this anecdotally.

Being out in nature is just better. 

It’s not just about the great Vitamin D, or the great hikes.  It’s about being outside, with the trees and plants, connected to the earth the way we once were.

Ancestrally, we probably spent our entire lifetimes mostly out of doors.  Even as recently as a few hundred years ago, many of our ancestors were farming people and spent a great deal of time connected to nature. 

Somehow along the way, we’ve lost that.

But it’s that time of the year!  The weather is just right and it makes sense to hit a state park and go camping.

But seriously, have you tasted camp food?

Or what do you do when your allergies make being outside completely miserable?

And WHAT ABOUT SMORES?

Here’s a few little suggestions to make your camping trip more paleo.

Camping Food

For backpacking, campfires often aren’t allowed.  If you’re using a camp stove but sad about the very non gut friendly foods available at your local camp store, try ordering some of these.  They are paleo freeze dried meals.

No guarantees that they taste good, but its better than the alternative!  Find them here. 

For long hikes when you need a snack, there are tons of great options.  I like dried fruit from my FAVE Steve’s Paleo Goods (find out more here) or even paleo trail mix.  Yep, it exists.   And this one’s NUT FREE!!!  Find it here. 

I also like this tuna jerky for something different.

For smores I get creative.  You can make your own paleo graham crackers and marshmallows.

But honestly, I just like to get down with an awesome chocolate bar from Enjoy Life (find them here) sometimes paired with these yummy cinnamon maple graham crackery things (find them here).  

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re spending lots of time outside.  I like to make sure I do that BPA free.

Here’s a favorite bottle of mine.

Keep Those Allergies Under Control

Allergies can make things tough.  I like these allergina drops.  Find the one for your zone and they can help reduce allergy symptoms.

I also like D-hist.  It is not an anti-histamine but does the job similarly to one.  I use this product a lot. You can find it here. 

That’s all for now!  Enjoy the camping trip and remember that many of the health and wellness benefits of camping come from the relaxation and reduced restriction and anxiety of modern life.  So if you want to fudge a little and eat something you don’t normally eat, let it go!  Enjoy the moment.  Times like these don’t come around often enough.

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Filet Mignon with Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe

Filet Mignon with Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe

Today ButcherBox is sharing a super yummy recipe with us!

They’re also offering us an AMAZING deal this week, so scroll down below to find out more or click here

One of the things I LOVE about Butcher box is that its not all ground meat and cheap cuts.

You often get fancy cuts thrown in, like this filet minion.

The recipe below would be great for a filet but also would work well with the 2 FREE 10 oz. New York strips that are included in your box this month if you order by April 20th.  You’ll also get $10 off your box, by the way 🙂 

Filet Mignon with Sautéed Shiitakes

CUT NAME : 100% Grass-Fed Beef Filet Mignon

Servings: 4 Prep: 10 min Cook: 25 min

ignon comes from the French word meaning “cute” or “dainty,” and JJ Virgin’s filet mignon

recipe perfectly showcases a truly elegant cut that would make a perfect addition to a romantic

evening. Shiitake mushrooms perfectly complement the aromas of macadamia nut, tarragon,

and red wine found in JJ’s dish, originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook (Grand Central

Life & Style, 2013).

Ingredients:

● 2 8-oz ButcherBox filet mignon

● 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp macadamia nut oil (like this one)

● 1 large shallot, chopped

● ¾ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered

● 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

● ½ c red wine (or substitute additional ¼ c beef broth)

● ¾ c organic low sodium beef broth (like this one)

● 2 tsp coconut aminos (I like this brand)

● ¾ tsp sea salt (this is my fav)

● ivided¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the

shallots, and cook until they’re starting to soften, 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms and tarragon, and cook until mushrooms have softened and started

to brown, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute.

3. Add the broth and coconut aminos, return to a boil, and cook until slightly reduced, about

4 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper; transfer to a

bowl and cover to keep warm.

4. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel; add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and heat over

medium-high. Season steaks with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper

and add to the skillet.

5. Cook steaks, turning once, until medium rare, with an internal temperature of 120°-125°F

(about 4-5 minutes per side). Transfer steaks to serving plate.

6. Return skillet to the stove on medium-high. dd the mushrooms, cook until hot, about 1

minute. Spoon mushrooms over steaks to serve.

Don’t forget to check out the awesome deal from Butcherbox this week!  $10 and 2 free NY stip streaks added to your order.  Just buy a box by 4/20!  Grab the deal here!

 

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

3 Reasons to Supplement with Vitamin D

3 Reasons to Supplement with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and one we are most likely to be deficient in as Americans.  Some estimates say anywhere from 80-90% of the population may have sub optimal levels of Vitamin D in the blood.

This is worrying because Vitamin D plays such an important role in health.  From reducing autoimmune issues and inflammation, to preventing disease, Vitamin D is a nutrient we shouldn’t neglect.

Here are 3 important reasons to make sure you’re getting enough, and even supplement if you are at risk for deficiency.

#1 Immune System

The major reason to supplement with Vitamin D is its importance in the immune system- with everything from upper respiratory infections to cancer.

Vitamin D has a protective effect on the immune system, helping T-cells and B-cells to to fight immune threats while also preventing autoimmune issues. 

Several autoimmune diseases (including Lupus and MS) have a high range of deficiency and supplementation with Vitamin D has been shown to improve health in these individuals.

Having sufficient Vitamin has been shown to reduce upper respiratory infections in both summer and winter.  Those with deficiencies of Vitamin D are found to suffer from upper respiratory infections much more often, even accounting for the seasons.  

Fun fact: before they knew about Vitamin D, tuberculosis patients were sent to sanitariums.  They were prescribed lots of sunlight which they believed cured the tuberculosis.

People have also taken cod liver oil for ages for its health benefits.  Cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D also reduces inflammation in the body, making it important for people with many health conditions like diabetes, infertility, autoimmunity, or metabolic syndrome.  

#2 Bone Health

It’s a well accepted fact in the medical community that Vitamin D is just as important for bone health as calcium because of the role it plays as a calcium cofactor.

Vitamin D helps maintain calcium homeostasis in the body.  That’s why so many calcium supplements now also have Vitamin D.  

Vitamin D promotes mineralization of the collagen matrix in bone.

Both women and men commonly don’t get enough calcium or Vitamin D through the diet and may need to consider supplementation.

Another important Vitamin for bone health, and still relatively unknown, is Vitamin K2.  Many supplements don’t contain all three and may not be as effective.

#3 Happiness

The last and best reason to supplement with Vitamin D is that it promotes happiness and emotional stability.

It is very common for people to feel sad, depressed, or anxious during the winter and to feel happier in summer.

Likewise, those who work outside or have ample sunshine time during the day report happier moods than those stuck in dark offices all day.

There’s something to this besides the fun of swimming and eating ice cream.

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is primarily processed through the skin rather than through food.  During the summer, we wear less and tend to spend more time outdoors, and this increases the amount we produce.  In turn, we get sick less often and feel altogether happier.  

Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with lower mood and decreased cognitive function.

Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it’s important not to take too much, since the body does store some.

However, Vitamin D needs range depending on specific conditions.  Recommendations for average adults age 19-50 are about 600 i/u a day to prevent deficiency.  This can come from sunlight, diet, or supplements, but it may take up to 1500 or 2000 i/u a day, depending on the individual, to keep blood levels about the recommended 30 ng/ml.

Obese individuals, those with active infections, or those taking certain medications may need twice as much Vitamin D.  Excess fat actually shuffles Vitamin D into the fat so that the body cannot use all of it.

Many in the natural health community recommend even higher levels.  They probably have a point since with the use of sunscreen, we may not be getting enough Vitamin D even during summer and food provides relatively little.

A Vitamin D blood test is relatively inexpensive and easy to order.  I’d recommend asking your doctor to run it the next time you have blood run so you can see where you’re at.  

Also recommended is to get at least 30 minutes of direct sunlight to a majority of skin per day.

If that’s not possible, I recommend taking a supplement like this one which contains Vitamin D, A, and K, all necessary cofactors.  Find it here.

Be careful if you also take other supplements or a multivitamin as these often contain Vitamin D as well and make sure you aren’t taking too much.

When looking for a vitamin D supplement, look for Vitamin D3, the form that is best absorbed by the body.

Do you take Vitamin D?  How has it helped you?

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

ButcherBox Beef Cheek Tacos Recipe

ButcherBox Beef Cheek Tacos Recipe

Today ButcherBox is sharing a super yummy recipe with us!

They’re also offering us an AMAZING deal this week, so scroll down below to find out more or click here

I’m always talking about how we need to try to eat more cuts of meat, varied cuts, and try new things.

(I especially think organ meat is important by the way.)

Beef cheek may not be something you’ve thought of eating before, but it can definitely make some GREAT tacos.

You really have to try this!

Beef Cheek Tacos

Beef cheeks come from the facial cheek of the cow and are rich with connective tissue. When

cooked slowly, beef cheeks are succulent and tender, owing much of their flavor to the cheek’s

role of constantly chewing.

Cooking Tips

Method: Brine with your favorite seasonings and cook slowly over low heat until tender and

falling apart.

– Braise (Dutch oven)

Temp: Bring meat to room temp before cooking. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat

is done (185-190°F).

Servings: 8 Prep: 12 hr Cook: 3 hrs

Dax Phillip’s taco recipe is a great twist on the traditional tacos de lengua found at your local

taqueria. Phillip artfully replaces beef tongue with brined and braised beef cheeks, which share

the shreddable, tender texture of such cuts as pot roast or pulled pork.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for the brine:

● 2 lbs ButcherBox beef cheeks, fat trimmed

● 6 c of water

● Juice of 1 lime

● Juice of 1 orange

● 1 whole guajillo chili, stem and seeds removed

● 1 whole dried chipotle chili

● 1 whole puya chili

● ½ c sugar

● 1½ Tbsp salt

● 4 cloves garlic, smashed

Ingredients for the tacos:

● 2 c water or beef stock

● brined beef cheeks

● 2 Tbsp olive oil (like this one)

● fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

● 1 shallot, minced

● ½ avocado, diced

● 1 whole lime, cut into quarters

● warmed flour tortillas (find gluten free at the store, use corn if you can tolerate, or make your own!)

Directions:

1. Make the brine by adding everything but the beef cheeks to a stock pot. Both the peel

and the squeezed juices of the lime and orange should be included. Bring to a simmer,

stirring to ensure the salt and sugar dissolve. Once dissolved, remove from the heat, and

let it cool.

2. Add the beef cheeks to a large sealable bag and pour in the cooled brine. Seal and

place in the refrigerator overnight.

3. The following day, pour out the brine, and pat the cheeks dry. Add beef to a large saute

pan or Dutch oven. Add about 2 cups of water or beef stock, bring to medium heat,

cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low once it comes to a boil. Cook for about 3 hours.

4. After 3 hours, remove the beef cheeks, and let them cool on a plate. Once cooled, slice

and then chop the cheeks.

5. To serve, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add

beef cheeks and cook until they have a nice sear.

6. When you are ready to serve, add the beef cheeks to a warm,toasted tortilla. Top with

fresh cilantro, minced shallot, a bit of avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.

You all know I’m a huge fan of ButcherBox and their grass fed beef, pork and chicken.

This week only we are running a great deal for our PFW readers who want to try ButcherBox.

Just click here and you’ll automatically get 3 packages of bacon added to your first order!

Awesome!

The offer is only valid until Tuesday the 4th of April.  Find out more here https://www.butcherbox.com/paleo-for-women-bacon-fans/

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Wired to Eat Book Review

Wired to Eat Book Review

OMG. GUYS.

Robb Wolf has a new book!!!

I know, I’m totally fangirling, but I seriously admire this guy.  He’s been one of the most important pillars of the paleo movement from its genesis and his original book The Paleo Solution continues to be a hugely important work for our community and one of the first books I recommend when asked to explain this whole paleo thing.

But now he’s done it again.  FINALLY!  He’s out with a new book that I can’t recommend highly enough.

I literally read it in 2 days.

It’s called Wired to Eat and it’s the best work on paleo in the modern context that I’ve ever read. 

This thing is like a biochemistry textbook distilled into actually interesting, readable language.

If you’re fascinated by all things nutrition, digestion, and health, you will love the detailed but simple descriptions of important topics like hyperpalatability of foods, overfeeding, hormones, digestion and gut health, and genetics.  

If you’re wanting a guide to help you lose weight as an individual, Robb’s 30 day reset with his 7 day carb tolerance plan gets about as individualized as you can get without seeing a practitioner.  

Robb has a strong belief in individual nutrition and this book actually goes into some pretty awesome methods for determining your personal carb tolerance, among other things.

Robb is honest about how truly hard it is to eat a healthful diet in a world of plenty with genes that want us to EAT ALL THE THINGS. 

Trying and failing at eating healthy is not an exception to the rule but the rule itself.

If you haven’t had trouble keeping it together around a milkshake and french fries then you are a strange alien creature!

Robb helps us all give ourselves a little grace and forgiveness because of how hard this stuff really can be.  It’s not “effortless” for everyone, and probably not for most people.  

But he also tells the truth.  And the truth is that we need to fight these impulses in order to live full, long, healthy lives. He shows us how to do that, how to help our brain with those crazy cravings and how to eat so we feel satiated.

I seriously love this book.

I recommend it for all of you who are nutrition nerds (like me!) and for those of you who have tried to lose weight or stick to a healthy eating plan unsuccessfully.  

I particularly like his carb tolerance test which helps you determine if you do better with certain kinds of carbs.  We all know that I’m a major fan of fruit for my personal health, but some people do better with starches.  The carb tolerance test will help you decide.  And everyone is different as to how much they can handle as well.

This is one of the most exciting books to come out of paleo in a long time.  Sometimes it seems like we’re just repeating ourselves over and over, but this book is really a wealth of the latest nutrition knowledge and information.

But seriously, enough writing!  Go grab this book TODAY.  Find Wired To Eat on Amazon here.

Have you read Wired to Eat?  What do you love about it?

 

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

3 Reasons To Track Your Food

3 Reasons To Track Your Food

If you know me, you know I’m not big on the calorie-counting and tracking mania of the rest of the diet world.  I prefer to let people figure out their health intuitively, eating whole, healthful foods that make them feel good.  

But in some circumstances I actually think tracking may be a good idea.

There’s no one size fits all way to know if tracking might be a good choice for you.  You know yourself best.

But here are 3 reasons you might consider tracking food intake.

#1 Micronutrients

Even if you’re eating paleo, you may not be getting ALL the nutrients required for health.  

Ever monitored how much potassium you’re taking in?  I can almost guarantee it doesn’t meet the recommended daily allowance.  

Now, I’m not about perfectionism and strict rule following.

But micronutrients are just as important, if not more important than macros.

Instead of worrying about what exact percentage or gram amount of carbs you’re eating in a day, how’s about worrying if you’ve got your daily allotment of vitamin C, or the B vitamins, or (gasp!) fiber!

You might be surprised.  In fact, I’m pretty sure you will be.

Because if you’re not downing tons of non-starchy veggies and leafy greens you’re not getting as much as you could.  And if you’re not going to make it a priority, it might be time to start thinking about the dreaded multivitamin to help prevent nutrient deficiencies.

I recommend this one in my post on multivitamins which you can find here

#2 You’re having trouble losing weight

I’m a huge proponent of eating a naturally healthy diet and being moderate about the crazy counting calories stuff.

My program Weight Loss Unlocked works for a lot of people by helping them make healthful food choices without really having to count anything.  But some people just have trouble with this method.  

Did you know the average person underestimated their caloric intake by about 30%?  

That number can rise even more if the person isn’t tracking calories.

And while I agree that calories are not the end all be all of weight loss, and certainly not of health, you can’t eat 3000 of them as a fairly sedentary person a day and expect to lose weight.

I don’t care if you’re eating cake or coconut oil, too many calories are going to derail your efforts.  

This is where tracking can help.

Take a week and see where you’re at.  That can give you a better idea of where you’re eating too much and where you’re just right.

Then try tracking a week at a more appropriate calorie count for weight loss and be mindful of how it feels.  Then, when you stop tracking, you’ll have a better idea of what the right amount of food should feel like.  

#3 You’re gaining weight or aren’t feeling well

Weight gain can be caused by a number of factors- hormones, water retention, medications, etc.

But if you have been gaining weight inexplicably, you haven’t done anything differently, or don’t feel you have, tracking your food intake may be helpful.  

Perhaps you’re eating the same number of calories but have increased your carbohydrate count.  If you have insulin resistance, this could cause weight gain.  If you don’t, it could be water retention.

Maybe you feel like you’ve been eating the same, but are forgetting about those dark chocolate squares you sneak in throughout the day, or that new post-workout drink, or those new fat bombs.  

Excess calories could be causing sneaky pounds to build up.  

Maybe it’s just the second half of your cycle, maybe it’s constipation, it could be anything, but sometimes excessive weight gain can indicate an underlying problem.  

If you track your intake and nothing is outside of normal, and the weight keeps packing on, it could be a thyroid problem or a side effect of a medication, or any number of issues.

You can use this information when you see your doctor, and you’ll be one step ahead of the curve.

Likewise, if you aren’t feeling well or are having increased anxiety, depression, or blood sugar crashes, tracking food intake alongside your mood after eating can help you pinpoint possible issues or trigger food/times.

Same thing goes for having digestive issues.  If you know what you ate and at what time, it’s much easier to figure out intolerance. 

Mindful eating is a skill.  And it’s best learned in the context of normal hunger and satiety cues.  

If your insulin is out of whack or you’re carrying a lot of excess weight, or have any kind of health condition or medication that interferes with your hunger cues, mindful eating is going to be remarkably difficult and could lead to feelings of failure and lack of results.

Nutritionists and nerds alike love the website cronometer.com.  It gives you WAY more detailed micronutrient values than other apps like My Fitness Pal, though that is a great choice for busy people because it has an app.

Whether you choose to track or not, I hope we can all learn to be respectful of what works for us as individuals.

If mindful eating isn’t right for someone right now, they certainly don’t need to be judged for that.  And likewise if counting calories is mentally unhealthy for someone, they deserve respect and support as they follow the natural cues of their body.

Do you track food intake?  Why or why not?  What site do you like to use?

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.